I’ve been away from my blog for a few weeks, and I’d love to pretend my extended absence was due to some wild adventure. But alas, I wasn’t scaling the glaciers of Mt. Rainier or kayaking up Puget Sound to commune with the whales. My new normal – pain, fatigue, and an honest loss of words – have kept me away.
My new normal is living with this autoimmune disorder. As I look back over some unexplained pain the past four years, it’s pretty obvious that I’ve had undiagnosed Psoriatic Arthritis for a while, with multiple flare-ups and exhaustion becoming a regular part of my life without my even realizing it. Now that I have a diagnosis and I’m on the path to steady treatment, there is some light ahead after a lot of darkness. I get my immunizations tomorrow and I’ll start Enbrel in a month. I’m on a steady dose of Methotrexate and folic acid and, thanks to two miserably painful cortisone injections, my finger/hand pain is under control. I’m also taking Shaklee’s Vitalizer vitamins in the hopes that I can squelch this fatigue because I’m tired of having to be in bed by 8pm because my eyes won’t stay open. I’m getting used to regularly giving up vials of blood for testing, and I’m finally learning to listen to the cues my body is sending, meaning I’m getting more sleep and not fighting it. I work from home most of the time, which both protects my weakening immune system and also counterbalances the exhaustion that comes with a 3-hour round trip commute to Seattle and back. (Three hours to go 52 total miles!!!)
And then there’s the loss of words. I’ve been feeling a lot of disappointment lately surrounding my career and certain relationships in my life. I realize that everything happens for a reason and that change is a regular part of life, but when things don’t turn out like you think they will, it kinda sucks. Disappointment weighs heavy on my mind a lot, which doesn’t help me feel any better. In fact, it’s sapped any will to blog or share much at all. Still, I’m choosing to focus on the positives, and the biggest positive in my life is our church and the wonderful people we’ve met there. We’ve only been attending since the beginning of the year, but it feels like home. This tiny church, with its lack of technology or grand musical productions, has become one of the most important parts of my new normal. We’re blessed each and every time we interact with the other church members or our pastor and his family. These beautiful people are becoming our adopted family out here. It’s been unexpected, but it’s so welcomed. I’m learning all about Jesus through the lens of the Anabaptist/Pietism roots of our church, and this denomination is exactly what I’ve been seeking for a very long time.
I’m going to try to get back to blogging again. Adapting to this new way of life means letting some things go, and I’ve dropped some of the other social media sites I was on. I don’t have the time or the energy to be distracted by stupidity. Hopefully my finger will remain a normal size and my words will find their way back. My brain is full of ideas when it comes to the world of fiction, and I’ve created a new character that is rapidly stealing my heart!
Hope everyone out there in the land of blogs is doing well!